Showing posts with label fiddle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiddle. Show all posts

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Kinnaris Quintet PHOTOS at Celtic Connections 2024

Electrifying, genre-bending and joyous!

 

Kinnaris consists of five accomplished musicians - Jenn Butterworth on guitar, Aileen Reid on fiddle, Fiona MacAskill on fiddle, Laura-Beth on mandolin, and Laura Wilkie on fiddle. 

 

The all female band sparkled on the Old Fruimarket stage! And the packed audience, with many well dressed female fans, were ready to party. This is as far from the decades old folk image of arran sweaters as we might choose to get! 

 

Their set was begun with a toe-tapping tune This Too – after which the band were joined on stage by the ever-popular Celtic Connections singers Julie Fowlis and Karine Polwart with a rousing Emeli Sande song, Read All About It and a poignant Gaelic song Puirt sung by the enchanting vocals of Julie Fowlis, while backed perfectly by the dynamic band. 

 


Aileen Reid


Karine Polwart, a festival stalwart and activist for inclusivity, had us all singing along to her emotive song, Come Away In. and them moved by a stirring song Lost Words Blessing.

 

This wonderfully escapist concert was brought to a fitting climax with the Kinnaris tunes Wonderful and Saltsprings. Kinnaris play with verve, with both a lightness of touch and also high energy. They mix many influences to great challenging effects, from traditional Scottish, Irish, Bluegrass, Classical, Scandinavian and Appalachian music; with which they create technically exciting arrangements, while their performances are filled with a contagious positive verve. 

 

An upbeat evening to remember! 




Karine Polwart

Laura-Beth Slater



II  Kinnaris were very well supported by the dynamic, high energy playing of Ciaran Ryan, Scottish tenor banjo player, one of the UKs top players and a founding member of folk band Dallahan, His second solo album, Occupational Hazards, was released 2024. 

 The evening concert was opened by Norwegian band Gangar, with their fresh take on Nordic roots music and a modern rock take on traditional tunes.




Wednesday 11 October 2023

Celtic Connections 2024 ANNOUNCED!


Tim O'Brien
Eddi Reader

CELTIC CONNECTIONS festival 2024  set for expansive programme of unmissable music!   Images copyright Pauline Keightley

World-renowned Glasgow festival Celtic Connections returns January 2024 with a full program and many international visitors – to brighten our winter nights!

Thursday 18 January to Sunday 4 February 2024

 

With one of its biggest-ever capacity festivals Celtic Connections is known as Europe’s premier folk, roots and world music festival, and the home of  spectacular musical collaborations. Celtic Connections has continued to expand into a multitude of genres over its 30-year history. 

 

In 2024 the festival will stage an ambitious  genre-defying programme of acoustic, traditional, indie, Americana, Jazz, blues, orchestral, experimental and more. Glasgow, UNESCO City of Music will host over 300 events across 25 venues  over 18 days.  Venues include Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Barrowland, Pavilion Theatre, Barony Hall, Old fruitmarket.  

 

From high-energy rhythms fusing contemporary sounds with traditional music, to intimate and soulful acoustic performances. Along with the anticipated 110,000 attendees, musicians will descend on Glasgow from Scotland, North America, West Africa, India, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Sweden, France and Ireland, more!

General tickets on sale at 10am, Wednesday 11th October at www.celticconnections.comCeltic Connections 2024

Celtic Connections 2024 will take place from Thursday 18th January to Sunday 4th February. General tickets go on sale 10am, Wednesday 11th October 2023, with advance tickets on sale now for Celtic Rovers festival supporters. The programme can be viewed in full and tickets purchased at www.celticconnections.com.

Images copyright Pauline Keightley
Highlights include:- 

     Celtic Connections Opening Concert, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall stages the European premiere ATTENTION! New symphonic work from American Grammy winner Chris Thile - “the best mandolin player in the world” - with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

     100 years on since the death of Scottish iconic revolutionary socialist John MacLean, a centenary concert  to recognise the significance of the Red Clydeside era – with music, poetry on his legacy, will be led by Karine PolwartEddi ReaderBilly Bragg and Siobhan Miller

       Scotland burgeoning traditional music scene is celebrated with Dallahan, RANT, Breabach, Mec Lir, Heisk, Session A9 and The Canny Band alongside emerging artists like Beth Malcolm, TRIP, Lauren Collier, Tarran and Amy Laurenson

     Another special international collaboration Citadels of the Sun, in tandem with Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Irish and Rajasthani musicians come together Barony Hall to share common themes that connect the two cultures. The show will feature Martin Coyle, Paul Cutliffe, Sarah E Cullen, Asin Khan Langa and Sawai Khan Manganiyar

     A wealth of transatlantic talent at the 2024 festival includes country royalty with Carlene Carter (daughter of June Carter Cash), 15-time Grammy Award winner and banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, beloved singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby, and festival favourites Sarah Jarosz, Teddy Thompson, The Milk Carton Kids, Tommy Emmanuel, Darlingside and bluegrass star Tim O’Brien,who with his seminal album The Crossing.

     50th anniversary of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra , with unique arrangements and guest performances from Scotland’s Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), American singer Aoife O’Donovan, visionary folk band Lau and harpist Maeve Gilchrist

      Beloved Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean will mark five decades of extraordinary music making with a special show entitled Songmaker 2024 - Celebrating 50 Years of Music

     Roddy Hart’s Roaming Roots Revue 12th year, Songs of Modern Scotland. modern classics along with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra, and Scottish talent Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and Rod Jones, Del Amitri’s Justin Currie, Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne CampbellKing Creosote, and more

     Contemporary Scottish Celtic outfits with RURA and Talisk iconic Barrowlands; Skerryvore expansive sound, UK top 40 album TempusSkipinnish celebrate 25 years, renowned folk groups Blazin’ Fiddles celebrate 25th years, Kinnaris Quintet headline show Old Fruitmarket with Julie Fowlis and Karine Polwart, and Skye’s Valtos celebrate Gaelic song SWG3

      Showcase Scotland - a part of the festival which facilitates international collaboration - will this year partner with the country of Norway to showcase Scandinavian talent, while other festival favourites including Transatlantic Sessions will return

Festival-goers can also look forward to the usual mix of screenings, workshops, dementia-friendly concerts, late night sessions and pop-up performances at the Festival Club, as well as a thriving education programme that will benefit thousands of children across Glasgow.

Donald Shaw, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Tim O'Brien, John Doyle- Late Sessions
Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It’s that time of year where we lift the lid on the incredible shows and events we have in the works for Celtic Connections. Celebration and collaboration are at the heart of the festival and once again we will bring the world’s music to Glasgow audiences this winter. I’m very excited that our 2024 edition will welcome a huge portion of international talent back to our stages, particularly our transatlantic cousins in America, and that we will be back to staging one of our biggest ever capacity festivals. We would encourage audiences old and new with a love of music to discover all that this diverse programme has to offer and spend the dark winter nights with us.”

Creative Scotland Head of MusicAlan Morrison said: “The 2024 Celtic Connections programme puts Scotland at the heart of a musical map of the world. This is arguably the festival’s strongest-ever international line-up, opening our ears to the inspirational sounds of artists from so many different countries and cultures. Running through it all, of course, is Scotland’s own musical lifeblood, the traditional tunes and contemporary twists that continue to thrill audiences and brighten up our winter days and nights.”

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “I’m greatly looking forward to this year’s Celtic Connections and the warmth it always brings to the colder months with leading Scottish and international musicians across a variety of genres set to descend on Glasgow for what looks to be another fantastic showcase of talent. 

 

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Edinburgh festival returns for 2023!

To offer new horizons

 

Edinburgh International festival 2023 now with new director Nicola Benedetti – firsts women and first Scot – this August with 2,000 artists, from 48 countries. 

of theatre, music, dance and drama. How can our institutions embolden and make people’s lives better.’

 

This years theme of ‘IDENITITY, COMMUNITY AND RESILIENCE.”

 

Nicola wants the festival to offer something mystical, magical, community and resilience. 

 




This year the festival will host the BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA – their motto  is “
To serve the people”

Nicola discussed concerns over recent cuts to the Arts. “We must work together to put arts as a must. We must go out to the community. Once you’ve felt it, you want to feel it again. How can we make progress in a different way? It’s a complete picture. The Arts are not an added extra. “





Nicola spoke of positive ways we can make the arts matter.

Where do We Go From Here?

Aly Bain’s soaring Shetland fiddle


I’ve been taking photos at Celtic Connections Transatlantic Sessions since 2008, and one of the highlights is the soaring fiddle of Aly Bian. He plays with an ease and grace that makes it all look effortless -  which is genius in itself.




As a child Aly liked the shape of the violin and started lessons at age eleven when he sat on the knee of his teacher. He was a protégé of Tom Anderson and of the passing on the heritage of Shetlands.

 

Eventually he left for Glasgow and where he played radio Glasgow and played little clubs

He uses a driven bow. Aly play a Scandinavian fiddle made by Adolf springer – which is “sweet and more like a voice”.

 


Aly has recorded 11 albums with Phil Cunningham, with whom he continues to tour extensively. In 2023, he has been recording with Eric Clapton at Abbey Road - 




The Transatlantic Sessions – Since 2008, Aly, along with Dubro master Jerry Douglas, has led the ever more popular Transatlantic sessions as the finale of the major winter festival, Glasgow’s Celtic connections. Hosting many iconic musicians as well as popular Scots Gaelic singers, and American country singers.

 

1960s Aly played with several bands and was in great demand – The HUMBELBUMS, MIKE WHELLANS, BOYS of THE LOUGH. 


Sunday 19 February 2023

Celtic Connections Review 2023

 


2023 marked a welcome return. with long queues at the Danny Kyle open mic stage, packed venues and an excitement to have the popular festival back, after the restricted lockdown years of the Covid. (2021, 2022): and showcasing performances from some of the world’s most celebrated artists  Europe’s premier folk, roots and world music festival Celtic Connections drew to a close after 18 days of spectacular concerts, unique and powerful collaborations and captivating screenings. 

Celtic Connections, one of the world’s largest winter music festivals and this year saw its 30th year, celebrated with an exciting line-up for its Opening concert – The Big Band plus -  Sierra Hull’s mandolin, Hebridean Peat and Diesel folk rock; Maeve Gilchrist harp melodies; Mali’s duo Dre CaliLiam O Maonial’s band Hot House Flowers, singers Karine Polwart, Kim Carnie, Rachel Sermann, and Fergus McCreadie’s jazz piano.  

 

The concert included musicians who have been involve since its beginning, as well as providing a platform for future talent, everything from contemporary dance to punk-inspired folk rock.

The world-renowned festival,19th January to 5th February, was held without restrictions for the first time since 2020, staging more than 300 events with more than 100,000 attendances at 25 venues across Glasgow, from the famous Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to the Mackintosh Church in the west end and Tramway in the southside.(There was also over 10,000 attendances at free events). 

Irish Celtic Music. Róisín Reimagined with award-winning Irish singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Irish Chamber Orchestra teamed up for a new project that combined exceptional vocals with fresh orchestral arrangements of sean nós songs, breathing new life into the noble, classical music of 16th-19th century Gaelic Ireland. 




Another notable performance was Rise Kagona, lead guitarist and only remaining member of the mega-successful Zimbabwean rock band The Bhundu Boys. One of the most successful contemporary folk musicians from Finland, Maija Kauhanen, combined her expressive voice with Finnish kantele when she performed with composer Andrew WaiteRozi Plain performed tracks from her upcoming fifth LP, Prize and local musician Terra Kin presented their debut EP Too Far Gone.

Other highlights - Malian duo Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia, with their rich and radiant blend of desert blues, Afro-pop, rock and hip-hop. Hen Hoose, a songwriting collective, brought together artists with ground-breaking music. Man of the Minch, at the forefront of Scottish folk music performed tracks from his debut album, The Tide is at the Turning. One of Mali’s most dynamic artists Rokia Koné  gave her first live performance in the UK of her debut album Bamanan, which was named one of the New York Times Best Albums of 2022.

The popular Cherish the Ladies, all-female American supergroup, champions of Celtic music, captivated with soulful singing, uplifting traditional Irish tunes and energetic dancing, as they celebrated 38 years. 

The sold out Transatlantic sessions brought together accomplished musicians and talented solo performers and went on tour to six UK venues. My personal highlights were Danny Kyle open stage, Vent du Nord, Duncan Chisholm, Kim Carnie and TS concerts


**Showcase Scotland, highlighted international partners Brittany and Wales during the six-day programme. The music industry event, which returned for the first time in two years, introduced delegates from across the world to the Scottish music sector, featuring this year’s partners Spectacle vivant en Bretagne - EPCC, and Wales Arts International - Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru.

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It has been incredible to celebrate the 30th edition of Celtic Connections and showcase folk, roots and world music, bringing communities from across the globe together in Glasgow. This year’s festival was a huge success and the calibre of the artists was incredible.

“We are honoured to have brought Europe's largest winter music festival to audiences from all over the world for the last 30 years. This year, we paid homage to all the musicians and artists who have contributed to Celtic Connections over the past three decades. We can’t wait to return in 2024 and once again bring music from around the world to the heart of Glasgow.”

Vent du Nord
Fergus McCreadie
Sierra Hull


**New Talent at Celtic Connections -  Lewis McLaughlin, who won the Glastonbury emerging talent

Kim Carnie, award winning Gaelic singer and composer, Mercury nominated Fergus McCreadie jazz pianist, 


*Danny Kyle Stage, 24th year – Binky Blue – Carnan – Chloe Matharu – Falasgair – Tem and Will Boyd-Wallis



*Winner Young Trad Musician 2023
 – pianist Amy Laurence, who mixes traditions from Shetland

This year’s winner of the prestigious award joins a list which recently has included amongst others the 2022 winner fiddler Eryn Rae, pianist Michael Biggins, piper Ali Levack, fiddler Benedict Morris and singer Hannah Rarity.  Amy said: “I am stunned and delighted to be the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician for 2023 and to follow in the footsteps of past winners, who are such an inspiration.”

Originally from Shetland, Amy began her journey through traditional music at the age of 16 when she began attending lessons from Violet Tulloch, who she still considers a large influence.   In 2017 she made the move to Glasgow to study Classical Piano at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before making the switch, in 2019, to the traditional department where she was awarded a first-class honours degree in traditional music.  As part of the 2023 award, Amy wins a recording session with BBC Scotland, an opportunity to perform at the Scots Trad Music Awards later in the year, plus a one-year membership to the Musicians Union.